American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

by Word Buff
(Organizer - Will Shortz, Ed. New York Times Crossword)

The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (usually known as the ACPT) is the biggest crossword tournament in the world, and has been held annually since 1978.

Here's a little number created by a regular competitor by the name of Parnell Hall that gives you the true flavor of the event — fiercely competitive, but palpably friendly...

There are lots of divisions (so novices are welcome!) and plenty of prize categories too, so you don't need to fancy yourself as the fastest crossword solver in the world to enter. But speaking of fast crossword solvers, you might like to take a squiz at my interview with Tyler Hinman, a 5-times ACPT Champ!

The tournament is directed by none other than Will Shortz. For those who've never heard of him, he is the editor of the New York Times Crossword — the most prestigious syndicated crossword puzzle in America. (He's the guy handing out the trophies in the video I just showed you.)

The crossword tournament spans an entire weekend with the leaders in the top divisions facing a sudden-death play off in front of a live audience on the Sunday (see the picture at the top of this article).

As if to ensure just the right balance between intensity and frivolity, though, the deathly serious finals are preceded by a Crossworders Got Talent show, featuring ACPT contestants. I can't resist showing you my favorite entry. The singer and lyricist for this one is Amanda Yesnowitz, and this is her entry for 2009. You might recognize the song...

Previous Champions

Here is a list of all American Crossword Puzzle Tournament Champions since the first event was held in 1978. Names that appear as links are winners who have been interviewed by Word Buff. Just click the link to go to the interview...

2011Dan Feyer

2010Dan Feyer

2009Tyler Hinman

2008Tyler Hinman

2007Tyler Hinman

2006Tyler Hinman

2005Tyler Hinman

2004Trip Payne

2003Jon Delfin

2002Jon Delfin

2001Ellen Ripstein

2000Douglas Hoylman

1999Jon Delfin

1998Trip Payne

1997Douglas Hoylman

1996Douglas Hoylman

1995Jon Delfin

1994Douglas Hoylman

1993Trip Payne

1992Douglas Hoylman

1991Jon Delfin

1990Jon Delfin

1989Jon Delfin

1988Douglas Hoylman

1987David Rosen

1986David Rosen

1985David Rosen

1984John McNeill

1983David Rosen

1982Stanley Newman

1981Philip Cohen

1980Daniel Pratt

1979Miriam Raphael

1978Nancy Schuster

If you want to find out more about this mandatory event on the cruciverbalist's calendar, I suggest you pop on over to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament website. It's all there.

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